ankle instability, fractures, osteoporosis and long term cast: my experience

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hope my experience can help, i try to summarize the most important aspects.

2 years ago i dislocated my ankle but then i fell from crutches re-twisting it. i understood something was very wrong as i wasn't able to take the shoe off. infact the ankle was broken on both sides and ligaments damaged. when the cast came off i was in bad pains, but thought was just part of the recovery. i was put in a fiber cast that was unstable and painful, but i wasn't smart enough to understand the situation.

again, after 4 weeks the foot was still in agony and i was given the plastic boot "to stimulate healing" and i have always been in pain trying to walk on the stupid thing.

when the boot came off my ankle was still painful and unstable, i had to use braces/boot or crutches 100%. so i opted for a ligament reconstruction, big mistake, as in reality i was still healing from the fracture. infact the surgery didn't make a great difference, it required 8 more weeks in the boot and i discovered a bad osteoporosis caused by disuse, i was told not to worry.

i kept using boot and braces but was still unconfortable, i tryied to push and overdid causing stress fractures to the heel, from x-rays the original break was finally healing but osteoporosis was bad.

finally pains started to decrease but i reinjured my ankle and fractured it quite badly. no major dislocation but i broke also the bones in the foot (tarsus). luckly the specialist explained that all the problems were caused by the insufficient healing of the original injury.

my entire leg was plastered up to the groin for 4 months (3 months totally NWB), then 2 months in a short walking cast. recently the last cast have been removed, to my surprise the ankle felt absolutely GREAT. it's a bit numb for the long immobilization but now no sharp unbearable pains, no floppy feel.

i have a supportive bandage but i can definitively tell the difference.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    What an experience! I’m so sorry you had to endure all of that but am stoked that you’re finally feeling good. Best of luck on further healing.
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    • Posted

      definitively i undervalued the pains so lesson learned.

      also never thought that healing times coul vary so much frome each other

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  • Posted

    Oscar so sorry to hear what you have been through!

    Question for you: was your ligament damage causing you to have any pain on the inside of your ankle or just causing a stability issue? I have ligament damage which causes my foot to be turned which at times allows my Tallus and my Tibia to grind against each other, but I haven't had much of a stability issue.

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    • Posted

      pains were mostly caused by inflammation from damage to bones i think, on both sided and around the top of the foot.

      ligaments caused the ankle to be very unstable and keep twisting, i was able to keep in quite natural position, apart when it was dislocated.

      if bones grind each other maybe is caused by damage to the cartilage? luclkly mine was ok and this is the reason why my doctor suggested to avoid surgery.

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  • Posted

    Oscar I am glad that you are healed. I also broke my talus and out a cast for 3 months. 5 days ago I removed my cast and did CT it showed partly healed talus fracture and diffuse osteoporosis in the ankle and foot. I had a sharp pain when I bear a weight but I feel that it is improving gradually but really slow. My doctor said try to use my ankle and walk because osteoporosis must heal. Talus will take a year to heal and not to worry about it. Oscar, does disuse osteoporosis heal itself if you use your long term immobilised ankle and take calcium???
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    • Posted

      yes it will heal, but can take some times.

      at beginning i didn't even know about osteoporosis because everyone belived i would have recovered i 2 months.

      but i always used the boot and also i have some intolerance to milk and derivates (must have developed in adult age).

      so osteoporosis persisted for something like a year, i had a specific exam and result was bad.

      but i could feel it as my entire leg was numb when i wb and then the calcaneus started to be in agony.

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    • Posted

      So How did you treat it?? did you rebroke your bone when you pressed stress during that times??
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    • Posted

      my osteoporosis kept worsening because i always used the boot. bones never healed in it, just lost density.

      infact the calcaneus started to break, the malleolis were still healing. then i decided to push it harder to recover but i ended reinjurying the ankle. this break n.2 was quite bad as the small foot bones broke.

      i spent 3 months wb in cast in order to help with osteoporosis. now i have a protective bandage, but think it wouldn't be necessary.

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